Wrangler Dani

Writer, editor, marketer and communication strategist. I'm also a wife, mama, hiker, cowgirl and experimental cook living in beautiful Central Oregon.
January 27th, 2016 by Dani

Why Loving our Post-Partum Bodies Isn’t Enough

I’ve been seeing memes on Facebook about women loving their post-partum bodies. “You’re beautiful, you made a kid!” it says cheerily (and more poetically), with a picture of a glowing mom and beautiful baby basking in soft light. Of course, I’ve gained weight this year but did not make a kid, so I haven’t earned “beautiful mom” status, right?

I want to earn my way through life, therefore unearned gifts are suspect. I can only be three sizes bigger than my early 20’s because I went through pregnancy and labor – otherwise I should hit the gym and stop eating carbs already. I can only have friendships because I am a great friend – so I panic over perceived slights or failures, feeling I’ve jettisoned my relationships. I am teetering on a blade of grass, certain that the next time I buy bigger pants or make an ill-advised remark or miss a deadline I am about to fall into an ugly, lonely, unsuccessful abyss.

I know I’m not alone, though, or else these mom memes wouldn’t be circling about, trying to earn our way back to beauty.

So I have an idea. This year, I want to focus more on being than earning.

I don’t want to write because I’m earning my way to a book deal – I want to write because I love writing and I have something to say. I don’t want to live ashamed, squeezing into old jeans because I have never been pregnant and how dare I carry weight I didn’t earn – I want to be a good mom, fully engaged in my life and healthy as I can be, no matter what size that is or how my body came to its current shape. I want to be a good friend because I want to love people well, not because I’m afraid they’ll find me inadequate if I don’t.

I want to live in grace. Beauty doesn’t come from loving your body post-partum and it doesn’t come from being a certain size or shape. Beauty comes from grace. Grace with myself, grace with others, grace for the myriad ways I am neither beautiful nor excellent nor friendly every day.

After all, it is by grace we have been saved, through faith. We don’t have to earn it or excuse our way into it.

So, moms, you are beautiful – not because you made a kid (although good job!) but because God made you beautiful – long before and long after pregnancy. Fellow 30-somethings, you are beautiful, not because you are the same size you were when you were 22 (although, again, if you are, good job!) but because you were made beautiful – created to be uniquely you. We see our flaws so clearly, so isn’t it incredible that God also sees those flaws, and yet loves us still?

This is my goal this year, to live into my purpose as a loved child of God, and celebrate those around me because they are also unique creations of an endlessly loving and creative God. I will be myself, whether I think I am beautiful or not, whether I feel special or not, whether a Facebook meme tells me I am valuable or not.

At the end of this year, I want to feel proud of what I’ve done and how I’ve been – not because of what I earned, but because of who God made me to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.